WHY GIVE THANKS? (1930)
In such a moment of doubt as comes to most of us at times, a reader of The Farmer's Wife writes to us to say:
"Thanksgiving Day approaches again, but how can we be thankful in our community where hail and drouth and other ills of agriculture have given us a lean year and empty purses. I am not irreverent when I say that it is not easy for me to lift my voice in thankfulness and praise."
While it must always remain a personal matter with our friend and with each of us whether or not we find cause for thanksgiving in what has happened to us, yet we suggest that there are good reasons for gratitude which apply to all of us.
Thanksgiving Day is not a time only for giving thanks for larger crops and herds, better prices, and more cash in the bank. If it were, it would be a poor occasion--pitifully poor.
But it is also a time for measuring those things that feed and clothe the spirit--the unseen things that are most able to make life more abundant.
And what are they? Love that we give and that we receive; the sacrifices that grow out of love; freedom to think, to speak and to do; the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; the guarantee of opportunity for all; the knowledge that each day is a new day, and each year a new year, bringing new hope; the assurance that God is still in his world, and that Christ's teachings are still able to save it.
In our land, these are gifts which all of us have, and how could there be greater?
We find a helpful suggestion for Thanksgiving in these words from Paul's letter to the Corinthians:
While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, and the things which are not seen are eternal.
IT DOESN'T COST A PENNY--Rainbow, South Dakota (1934)
It doesn't cost a penny: To let my imagination go window shopping while my mind's eye furnishes our homesteader's shack with linoleum in black and ivory squares.
To paint the furniture in ivory with black and rose trim, and the walls in ivory and green with ceiling in apricot.
To curtain the many-paned east windows in shades of apricot and ivory and honeydew.
To replace my worn bedding with rain-bows-round-my-shoulder.
To re-read the stack of good magazines saved from the pre-depression era, and regain the old inspiration.
To rise from bed while the starlight is paling and climb a hill.
To drink deep draughts of cool dawn, and descend a cool, steep canyon for a few strawberries and flowers from God's garden.
To ignore the heat, the drouth, the depression, strikes and rumors of war and find pleasant topics of conversation.
To remember that some kindly wise man said, "Life is not so short but that there is always time for courtesy."
To read God's Book of eternal truth and gain courage and peace from His word.
To pray unceasingly, with hope and faith, not for material blessings so much as for spiritual development and the salvation of us all.
To remember that the best things in this world, and the next, are without money and without price.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all,